Pará, a state with a total area of 1 247 689.5 square kilometres (or 481 735.6 square miles), is home to more than 7.5 million people and is one of the most populous in Brazil. It is situated in the northeast of this South American country and is bordered by Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas, Roraima, Guyana, Suriname, and the exquisite blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
Its capital city is Belém. This area is known for being home to portions of the Amazon River and its jungle, as well as for its abundant rubber and timber plantations.
Photo was taken in Belem, Brazil, the home of the largest outdoor market in South America.
Before the 1600’s, the English and Dutch explorers that made their way to this part of South America by boat invaded it in search of its valuable pepper, annatto seeds and the Guaraná tree. The annatto seeds were valuable as colourants, sunscreen and insect repellent while the Guaraná tree has many herbal uses; including weight loss, increase in libido, antibacterial properties, the thinning of blood and pain relief. Then, during the earlier part of the 17th century, Portuguese colonisers arrived in the area now known as Pará and founded Presépio Fortress (the modern Castle Fortress). The city of Belém would eventually stem out of this location.
Pará’s climate is tropical; typical of its equatorial positioning. It is very humid and moist, with no dry season. This gives the tropical rainforest vegetation the ideal amount of moisture in which to thrive, creating a dense, lush landscape that is absolutely breathtaking for locals and visitors alike. The Amazon is home to an astounding variety of species; both plant and animal. This diversity and abundance gives this state a priceless quality of beauty and intrigue, attracting tourists from all over the world to explore the unique splendour.
In terms of its Gross Domestic product (GDP), the service sector makes the largest contribution, at over 40%. Industry also plays an integral role, while mining is another very important contributor. Pará’s major exports include iron ore, aluminium and wood, amongst others.
Visitors to Pará are urged to visit some of the following popular attractions:
• Estacao das Docas (Station of the Docks)
• Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) – dating back as far as 1869
• One of the many river tours that are conducted on a regular basis
• Mercado Ver-o-Peso – the largest free fair in South America
• The Zoological Park and Gardens
• Mangrove of Herons Garden – a contemporary-styled park in the Cidade Velha area of Belém.
Here is the Pará government web site: http://www.pa.gov.br/
Here is the Pará tourism web site: http://www.paraturismo.pa.gov.br/
This image was taken in Belem, Brazil in 2010.